Fall is swiftly approaching and soon we will be dealing with static electricity in our homes and offices and in our clothing. Nothing is more frustrating than a pant leg that refuses to unwrinkled and hang to the floor. It looks pretty stupid when one leg is crinkled up to the knee and the other is in the right place. A skirt is even worse because the wearer may be showing off more than is appropriate without even knowing it.
Dryer sheets do make a difference with static electricity in clothing, but some people are allergic to them. They have a very strong odor and it is questionable as to if this scent and using the dryer sheets are totally safe. Those that live “green” do not use dryer sheets, and rightfully so. Can you pronounce some of those words in the ingredients on the side of the box? I have no clue what they are.
How is static electricity produced?
Everything we see, touch and smell (even ourselves) is made up of atoms. In an atom there is a nucleus that is made up of protons, electrons and neutrons that orbit around in different paths. Each atom is different because of the number of protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons have a positive charge, electrons have a negative charge and neutrons are neutral, of course. These charges can move from one substance to another simply by coming in contact with them. When this happens, a positive charge will be attracted to a negative charge. Two positives or two negative charges will repel each other. Therefore, if you take a balloon and rub it on your hair, the balloon gains extra electrons and therefore, has a negative charge. When you place the balloon on the wall, which is a neutral charge, it sticks because of static electricity. The object of dryer sheets is to remove extra electrons from laundry that is hitting up against each other, and neutralize them so they do not stick.
Solving the Problem
Those that do not have any ill effects from dryer sheets may want to know that the whole sheet is not necessary to eliminate static in a whole dryer full of clothing. Cut it in half and the box will last much longer.
For those that would rather make their own sheets can do so by mixing liquid fabric softener with water and soaking it into a sock, a piece of T-shirt or dishrag and put it in the dryer with wet clothing and it will take the static out.
Eliminate static on clothing using only safe substances. Add 1/4th cup baking soda, borax or white vinegar during the wash at the rinse cycle, then dry in the dryer. To make them smell nice make up a potpourri of dried flowers and a few drops essential oil and put it in an old sock. Place it in the dryer with the clothing so they smell clean and fresh.
Interesting methods of preventing or getting rid of static cling include balling up some aluminum foil and throwing it in the dryer. This neutralizes static and clothing will not stick. They only work once, so if you want to save money purchase dryer balls found in stores as they are usable more than once. Clean tennis balls also prevent static cling by placing them in the dryer with clothing. Maybe they bounce around so much the electrons can’t stick or move. The last tip has nothing to do with the dryer. When static cling attacks take a metal hanger and insert it up the sticky pant leg and use it like a wand. The static electricity will be gone in an instant.